Conor joined firstlight in November 2021 as an intern and is now firstlight’s newest AE. Here he reveals the biggest lessons he learnt from his internship.
The first few months I have spent in a public relations agency have been fast paced, insightful and exciting, however, it’s not always clear what the future holds when starting a PR career. Completing an internship at firstlight helped me better navigate and understand the world of PR, and the three months I spent under the firstlight wing gave me the guidance I needed to step up to the role of account executive.
Here’s some of the key things I have learnt and that I wish I had known only a few months a go:
Keep up with the media landscape
Knowing what’s being said, who’s saying it and where is crucial to keeping up in a PR agency. From day one of my internship, I was shown how to expand and vary my media diet in a way that helped me understand, interpret and digest the news agenda. Learning to do this has ultimately helped me get the most out of my early experience of PR by giving me a deeper and richer understanding of our target media outlets, what specific journalists write about and how to approach them whilst dealing with the varying challenges the media world might raise.
Get to know journalists
Find the journalists who interest you and find out what they’re interested in, what they’re writing about and what their opinions are. Doing this is an easy way to ensure you can hit the ground running on your first day in communications, and by building a foundational understanding of a range of media outlets you will be better prepared to tackle the PR world head on.
Be flexible and don’t be afraid to ask questions
No two days are the same in PR, which is why having an open mind and being prepared to change your plans at short notice is a must! At firstlight we work across multiple sectors, meaning one day you could be pitching a news story to a climate change journalist, and the next you could be researching the latest fintech trends. So be prepared to adapt to the needs of the day.
But this is easier said than done, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions! When I joined firstlight I was encouraged to ask any question at any time, no matter how big or small, which helped me to quickly learn about the agency and industry as a whole, whilst also growing into an account executive. Being in an agency that cares about and invests in your professional and personal development is a must-have when starting out in PR!
Get involved in agency life
Working in an agency is a fun way to get the most out of your day job! Firstlight’s monthly socials, friendly atmosphere and frequent CSR activity have made my first few months in the industry exciting and memorable. Firstlight for me has been a dynamic and exciting agency to be a part of, so it’s important to look forward to exploring everything that the PR world has to offer.